With retailers across the country closing hundreds of locations, due in large part to the rise of online shopping, you might find some empty storefronts at your local mall or shopping center in the near future.
But did you know that some retailers of the past are now getting a second chance?
New life for forgotten retail brands
After these stores closed because of money woes, other companies swooped in to acquire the iconic brands — but it’s certainly not business as it used to be.
After several turnaround attempts, Montgomery Ward announced in 2000 that it was closing for good after a disappointing holiday shopping season, according to the New York Times. At the time, one retail expert described it as a ‘slow-motion train wreck.’ The competition from Sears, Walmart and Target ultimately proved to be too much.
But after its physical stores closed, a direct-mail business acquired the brand. Wards.com now sells many department store items online and through a catalog, which is how Montgomery Ward got its start in 1872.
You probably remember walking past a Limited Too in your local shopping mall, but the fashion-forward store closed in 2008, a disappointment to tweens everywhere. NBC News reports that Bluestar Alliance acquired the apparel brand in 2015. The company reportedly plans to open 200 stores over the next five years, but there’s no word yet when the first store will open.
Circuit City was the second largest electronics retailer in the country when it closed in 2009 amid increased competition from stores like Best Buy. Now, the brand is on the verge of a comeback under the leadership of New York retail veteran Ronny Shmoel. According to DallasNews.com, Circuit City is planning to open its first new store in Dallas. The CEO says the search is underway for the perfect location.
Fans of Twinkies were crushed in 2012 when Hostess bakers went on strike, forcing the troubled company to shut down. As you may recall, some people started to sell Twinkies on eBay after they disappeared from store shelves. But the Twinkie was saved. The business was sold to private equity firms Apollo Group Management and Metropoulos & Co., and Hostess began making its sweet treats again in 2013.
Linens ‘n Things
A victim of the credit crisis, home goods retailer Linens ‘n Things closed all of its stores in 2008, according to the New York Times. At one point, the retailer operated nearly 600 stores in the United States.
But now, the brand lives on at LNT.com, a website that sells bedding, home decor, cookware and other merchandise that you remember from the retailer’s good old days.